Comparison: State vs. Federal
Texas has enacted the Agriculture Hazard Communication Act (AHCA), also known as the Texas Farmworker Right-to-Know Act, to protect the state’s large farmworker population. Employers governed by both the Texas Hazard Communication Act (THCA) and the AHCA must comply only with the THCA.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) governs the state’s private sector workplaces, including worker “right to know.” Texas has its own THCA, but it is not federally approved; as a result, the state governs only for the public sector workplace (state, county, and local government employers, including schools, universities, and volunteer emergency service organizations). The public sector rule contains some worker right-to-know provisions that are stricter than federal rules, including rules for safety data sheets (SDSs) and employee training recordkeeping. See the state SDS analysis for more information.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) enforce farmworker health and safety rules. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers and enforces worker right-to-know rules in private sector workplaces. The DSHS administers worker right-to-know in public sector workplaces.
Texas follows the federal rules (40 CFR 170) to protect agricultural laborers (farmworkers) from hazardous substances, especially pesticides. Texas has adopted worker hazard communication rules to protect workers who work with chemicals labeled under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 USC 136) and fertilizers with chemicals that are listed or defined as ...